Tag: Viruses

How Omicron’s Mutations Allow It To Thrive

As nurses and doctors struggle with a record-breaking wave of Omicron cases, evolutionary biologists are engaged in a struggle of their own: figuring out how this world-dominating variant came to be. When the Omicron variant took off in southern Africa in November, scientists were taken aback by its genetic makeup. Whereas earlier variants had differed […]

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Synthesis too slow? Let this robot do it.

Researchers in the lab of Bradley Pentelute, MIT professor of chemistry, have invented a fully automated fast-flow instrument that can synthesize peptide-nucleic acids in a single shot. By automating the process of synthesizing CPP-conjugated peptide-nucleic acids (PPNAs) using the robot dubbed “Tiny Tides” by the research team, typical PPNA synthesis time was reduced from multiple […]

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Speeding up directed evolution of molecules in the lab

Natural evolution is a slow process that relies on the gradual accumulation of genetic mutations. In recent years, scientists have found ways to speed up the process on a small scale, allowing them to rapidly create new proteins and other molecules in their lab. This widely-used technique, known as directed evolution, has yielded new antibodies […]

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